Power Transition: Far Right Naftali Bennett Expected To Become PM Of Israel

After witnessing four elections in just two years, Israel now seems to finally get a full time Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to step down after an opposition coalition claims the numbers to form a government. The opposition is expected to choose multi-millionaire Naftali Bennett as the next Prime Minister.

The Next Prime Minister

The expectant Naftali Bennett moved closer to replace the current PM Benjamin Netanyahu after the opposition planned to share power. He is a former tech entrepreneur who made a name in politics with hard-right religious-nationalist rhetoric. Born to US-born parents, Natfali attracted hard-right voters throughout his career.

The 49 years old, leads the Yamina party. His party demanded Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. He seems to be ultra-liberal on the economy while supporting hard line policies against ‘foes’. Natfali shares this ideology with Netanyahu and has earlier served in his government. But, in recent years he has vehemently opposed Netanyahu’s policies.

The recent firefight with the Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, finally led to centrist parties to give in. As a result Bennett finally agreed to join centrist Yair Lapid in a coalition to oust the premier. If they are successful to forge a coalition of 61 members, it would mean end to Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in office. Meanwhile, Lapid has only accepted to share power, with rotating terms in PM’s office.

Knesset, the parliamentary building of Israel.

Present Political Ideology

Natfali Bennett is a far right politician, who made news after he took the charge of hard-right Jewish Home party. The party which was facing annihilation, led by Naftali increased its seat share to four folds after 2012. He later renamed his party as Yamina in 2018.

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He is often seen making headlines with series of incendiary comments on the Palestinians. In one instance he said Palestinian “terrorists should be killed, not released”. The once economic minister in Netanyahu’s government argues that the West Bank is not under occupation. He claims since there is no Palestinian state and feels that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could not be resolved but must be endured.

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